by: Editor on 9/18/2016
The 8th annual Sedona Winefest kicks off September 24-25 where great food, music and, of course, wineries come together to celebrate the perfect glass of vino—and a weekend of fun! Tickets are available now, and securing them early is wise as this event can sell out. The 2016 Winefest is open from 11a.m. – 5p.m. both days at the Posse Grounds Park in the middle of Sedona. Local Arizona wineries are the headliners, along with food vendors highlighting some of the best and most innovative grub in the region.
Enjoy stunning views of the red rocks as you sip on the best wine of the year (and years past!). Tickets are on sale until September 23 at early bird prices of $25, and admission may be available at the door for $30. Saturday is the busiest of the festival, and door sales do temporarily close when the event is at capacity.
Every admission includes eight tasting tickets as well as a commemorative glass. You can purchase additional tastings, including a special 24-ticket bundle for just $20. Parking is plentiful and free, including a number of handicap accessible spots. This year is slated to be the biggest and best yet, hosted by Sedona Pines Resort, and with Verde Valley and Southern Arizona wineries pouring up specialty wines that you can’t get anywhere else.
Head to the Education Tent for a number of mini seminars from wine experts, and don’t forget to enter the raffle drawings throughout the day.
by: Editor on 9/17/2016
Sedona is rich with southwestern type, all-America cuisine (often with strong Mexican influences), as well as wholesome, organic and locally sourced restaurant fare. However, sometimes all a traveler wants is traditional comfort food via their favorite Chinese dish. Luckily, Sedona is home to Szechuan Sedona, half-Chinese restaurant and half-cocktail lounge, but 100 percent the perfect spot for lunch, dinner and late nights.
Explore the full sushi menu, or dive right into the variety of dishes on the dinner menu. For appetizers, try the tempura shrimp, chicken lettuce wraps with special house sauce, or BBQ pork spareribs. Tofu or shrimp lettuce wraps offer a lighter treat, and the pu pu tray has a little something of everything.
A variety of soups are available, including the extra spicy hot and sour soup, but many regulars come for the famous egg foo young with your choice of protein or a vegetarian option. Choose from a selection of shrimp, pork, chicken, beef or tofu-based dishes, or head to the noodle and fried rice menus for the house special crispy noodles or cashew shrimp with a side of pineapple rice.
For dessert, there’s sliced coconut cake, fried sweet banana, or exotic ice creams including mango, red bean and green tea. Try it with a plum wine, sake, or one of the specialty drinks like the Geisha Girl or Blue Ninja.
by: Editor on 9/16/2016
Head to Sound Bites Grill in Sedona every Wednesday to indulge in local wines and listen to a talk by wine experts, telling the story of each varietal’s journey. Choose the wines you want to try with four pours for just $10. Of course, the regular taps are readily available, too! Enjoy the views of Snoopy Rock, and watch the desert sunset while sipping on a new favorite glass of vino or pint of beer. It’s the perfect destination for date night or a company get together.
Sound Bites Grill is a leading Sedona lounge, nightclub and bar—but the full restaurant menu is what really keeps regulars coming back. Open for lunch, dinner, happy hour and late night, make sure to check out the dessert menu first so you know exactly how much room to save! The Angus beef sliders, ahi poke, and Fleetwood mac and cheese bites with smoked gouda and panko crusted parmesan are perfect to share.
Their coffee desserts and nightcaps are a treat in themselves. The Hot Tub Coffee features Irish cream, Frangelico, Kahlua and coffee with a whipped cream topping. The Keoke coffee has Kahlua, brandy, coffee and crème de cocoa with a thick whipped topping.
And for dessert? The pumpkin cheesecake and truffle trio are great to share. The martini cheesecake with granola and berry compote is divine, but the brown betty a la mode with granny smith apples in a caramel sauce with granola and ice cream really takes the cake (or pie!).
by: Editor on 9/2/2016
At Yavapai College (OLLI) in the heart of Sedona, September 9-11 marks the first annual Sedona Book and Arts Festival, with authors, actors and artists on site. This year’s theme is “a story runs through it,” and attendees will get the chance to get books signed and photos snapped with their favorite authors and artists. Theatrical energy runs strong at this event, with authors creating the words for actors to play out amidst gorgeous backdrops and with stunning visual images.
It’s a one-of-a-kind festival that blends the literary, artistic and theatrical world with a slew of workshops for attendees of all skill levels. Join a seminar to learn more about creative crafts, or head to an intimate reading with one of your favorite authors. This first year is an experimental one, and attendees are encouraged to share, explore and contribute.
Teaching the Craft
Distinctive teachers in a myriad of fields are coming together to make this year special. Wear flamboyant costumes if you like! Dress up as your favorite character from a book or movie—or simply come as yourself. Costumes aren’t required but are encouraged. This is an “anything goes” type of Sedona event that’s expected to grow and thrive in coming years.
Exhibitors are still welcome to apply, and you might be able to squeeze in last minute by registering online.
by: Editor on 8/22/2016
Indian cuisine can be difficult to come by in Arizona, but Sedona boasts two authentic, delicious options for those craving saag paneer, Goan (?) curry and mango lassi. India Palace is a casual eatery open for lunch and dinner specializing in chicken and lamb dishes, curry, and rice dishes. Some of their top appetizers and starters include veggie pakoras and samosas, tilapia pakora, and mulliga taluny soup.
Their full tandoori dinner includes chicken tikka, sheeshkababs, lamb tikka, tandoori chicken, a veggie curry, naan, rice, and coffee or tea for $16.95. Try out their generous seafood menu featuring shrimp masala, mahi-mahi vindaloo and tandoori fish masala. Their lunch buffet, just under $10 for adults, offers an eclectic mix of their most popular dishes.
Dine Like a Local
The ChocolaTree offers authentic chai tea along with other favorite Indian dishes. All organic using local, seasonal ingredients when possible, you’ll find saag paneer right beside their famous Green Goddess Salad. It’s a true fusion destination where the bean chili soup, a southwestern staple, is served up with the chilled carrot ginger soup.
If it’s Indian food you’re craving, you’re in luck in Sedona. Customize your heat levels, and enjoy a truly local touch with innovative dishes.
by: Editor on 8/12/2016
The Honanki Heritage Site is located in Red Rock country and, along with the sister site Palatki, are the biggest cliff dwellings in the area and are estimated to have formed circa 1200 AD. The Hopi ancestors, the Sinagua, called Honanki home and used the space to raise families, create tools and leather goods, and prepare meals. In the nearby area, the Sinagua hunted rabbit and deer, which are still found in abundance today. There are a number of nearby edible plants, too.
Today, the heritage site can be found on the outskirts of Sedona and is governed by the US Forest Service via the Red Rock Pass Program. The site is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here, you’ll find an interpretive site and restroom facilities. A Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Pass is required for all vehicles and can be purchased from a number of local retailers.
Rules of the Rocks
Pets are only allowed in the parking lot area. There are hiking trails throughout the area suitable for most ages and abilities. To access the site, head 17 miles northwest of Sedona on Highway 89A via West Sedona. Past mile marker 365, you’ll turn right onto Forest Road 525. Follow 525 for 9.5 miles past the Loy Canyon Cattleguard trailhead.
Many consider Honanki a spiritually rich site, and it’s a favorite for meditative walks. It’s a must for any Sedona visitor and a welcome respite from the bustle of the city.